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Cardiac MRI & CT Imaging Program

At the Pediatric Cardiac MRI and CT Imaging Program, we use advanced imaging techniques to evaluate, diagnose and help develop personalized treatment plans for a wide variety of pediatric heart conditions, from congenital disorders to tumors. By obtaining detailed images of your child's heart with MRI or CT scans, we're able to get a full understanding of your child's condition and provide the best possible care.

We recognize MRI and CT scans can be scary for children, so our cardiac imaging specialists take care to make the experience comfortable, low stress and noninvasive. Everything is designed with kids and families in mind, from the layout of the testing spaces to the involvement of child life specialists, who provide emotional support and help children understand what's happening. Also important, our state-of-the-art equipment limits patient exposure to radiation. In cases where a child needs sedation during the test, we work with pediatric anesthesiologists who are highly trained in the unique needs of young patients. Our staff also helps you navigate our health system, from coordinating test appointments to assisting with insurance issues, so you can focus on your child.

UCSF has been on the forefront of medical imaging for more than a century. Many radiology advancements and applications were developed here, and we offer some services that are not widely available. For example, we are the only medical center in Northern California with a dedicated 3-D technology center. By generating 3-D images and physical models of our patients' hearts, we enable our doctors and surgeons to provide the most precise, personalized care possible. As a collaboration between the UCSF Pediatric Heart Center and UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, our program works to develop new techniques and tools, ensuring our patients benefit from the latest innovations.

Our locations (3)

    Special programs

    3D+ Program

    The 3D+ Program provides cardiac surgeons with highly detailed 3D replicas of patients' hearts, which they use in planning surgeries.

    Neonatal Cardiovascular Center of Excellence

    The Neonatal Cardiovascular Center of Excellence at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals cares for premature and critically ill newborns with complex heart conditions.

    Awards & recognition

    • Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties

    • Best in Northern California for cardiology & heart surgery

    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your child's condition
    • List of medications, including dosages, plus any your child is allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

    For visitors

    Before you head to the hospital, check out our guidelines for visitors and caregivers.


    Your Stay

    We offer valuable information to help you plan for your child's upcoming hospital stay. Find out about food services, family accommodations and more.

    Learn more

    Your Child's Care Team

    Our doctors, nurses, child life specialists and other providers have special training to care for children. Meet your child's care team.

    Learn more

    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Learn more

    Related clinics (6)

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    Cardiothoracic Surgery Program

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    Echocardiography Imaging Program

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    Fetal Cardiovascular Program

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    Pulmonary Hypertension Program

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    Single Ventricle Comprehensive Program

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    744 52nd St., Third Floor
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    Support services

    Child Life Services

    Activity rooms, pet therapy and more to help kids feel at home.

    Child Life

    Certified child life specialists ease the stress and anxiety of childhood illness through therapeutic play, schooling and family-focused support.

    Family Amenities

    Family-friendly amenities help you relax and take care of yourself while staying close to your child. We offer lounges, kitchens, showers, breastfeeding rooms and more.


    Social Services

    Social workers ease the effect of illness, injury and hospitalization on your family with counseling and assistance to help you navigate the challenges.


    Activity Rooms

    Activity rooms offer a relaxed environment for children of all ages. Features include a playroom, digital arts studio and teen lounge. Find out more.


    Art Therapy

    Art therapy helps kids and families express themselves, making it easier to cope with pediatric health issues. Group and bedside services are available.


    Music Therapy Program

    Board-certified music therapists help kids cope with illness and the feelings that come with it. Find out about group activities and bedside therapy.


    School Program

    Our schoolroom services and individual learning programs help children hospitalized at UCSF continue their education and get ready to return to school.


    School Re-Entry Program

    We help kids return to school after hospitalization by educating staff and students about their needs and recommending needed accommodations. Read more.


    Individual Playtime & Instruction

    If your child can't be around other kids for medical reasons, you can sign up for private sessions in our activity and school rooms. Find out how.


    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Family Resource Center

    We help families cope with the challenges of childhood illness and hospitalization in a relaxing environment where parents can get a much-needed break.


    Parent Support Program

    Weekly activities, including knitting, scrapbooking, chair massage and more, help family caregivers get a much-needed break. Find out more.


    Patient Relations

    Patient relations reps and nursing supervisors are here to answer questions and address concerns. Learn about your rights, how to reach us and more.


    Spiritual Care

    Chaplains help UCSF patients, families and staff cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges of childhood illness. Learn more.


    International Services

    If you're coming to UCSF from outside the U.S., we coordinate your child's appointments and provide other helpful services. Here's how to get started.

    Our research initiatives

    Soothing the soul

    Our music therapy program nurtures patients with bedside serenades, rap workshops and more.

    Find out more